The Graduate College

Thesis & Dissertation

**IMPORTANT NOTE: as of May 2018, the Interim Dean of the Graduate College is Dr. Clay S. Gloster, Jr. He must be included on the Signature Page. Please see the Word template and sample Signature Pages below.**

Many Master’s programs at N.C. A&T require a formal thesis and all Ph.D. programs require a dissertation. The main purpose of writing a thesis or dissertation is to develop original research and scholarship into a well-crafted document that can be shared with peers and colleagues. The Graduate College is responsible for ensuring that theses and dissertations written by our graduates adhere to consistent formatting and quality guidelines. Following graduation, the final thesis/dissertation document will be published electronically to the ProQuest/UMI Electronic Thesis and Dissertation (ETD) Database.

Below, you will find official Thesis/Dissertation deadlines, the submission process, and numerous resources to help you successfully write and format your document, including the Thesis/Dissertation Handbook, Word Template, and additional online resources.

Checklist: Submission Process
Checklist: Formatting Guidelines

Thesis/Dissertation Deadlines 

Fall 2019

NOTE: The student must be registered and must have applied for graduation before the thesis/dissertation can be reviewed. Please refer to the Academic Calendar for the deadline to apply for graduation.

Friday, October 25: DEFENSE DEADLINE (Last day to defend Thesis/Dissertation)

Thursday, October 31: SUBMISSION DEADLINE (Last day for Major Professor to send the three submission documents by email. See section “Submission of Documents to Graduate College” below for details.) 

Monday, November 25: SIGNATURE PAGE DUE (Last day to submit final copy of Signature Page complete with original signatures of major professor, committee members, and department chairperson. The Signature Page must be submitted to the Graduate College's main office--120 Gibbs Hall).

How to Submit Thesis/Dissertation to the Graduate College

PLEASE READ THE DIRECTIONS BELOW CAREFULLY. The key steps are also described in this one-page handout.

All thesis and dissertation students must have the "Report of Thesis/Dissertation Committee Composition" filled out and submitted to the Graduate College as early as possible (ideally, just after the committee members are determined). The Graduate College will verify that all committee members have graduate faculty status, as required by the University policy. For dissertation students, the Graduate College will assign an additional committee member, the "Graduate Faculty Representative," who will offer dissertation feedback and participate in the Oral Defense.

You must be registered for the semester in which you intend to graduate (there is a one-credit thesis/dissertation option if this is your only remaining requirement). You must also apply for graduation--please see the Graduation Application Information Page for details. Refer to the Academic Calendar for the deadline to apply for graduation.

The Final Oral Defense must take place by the stated deadline. Important note: according to official University policy, a copy of the thesis/dissertation must be provided to the committee members at LEAST one week in advance of the Oral Defense. Following a successful thesis/dissertation defense, all committee members as well as the department chair must sign the “Oral Defense Form”. A SCANNED COPY OF THE SIGNED ORAL DEFENSE FORM MUST BE SENT TO DR. SHEA BIGSBY ( DIRECTLY FROM EITHER THE DEPARTMENT CHAIR OR THE MAJOR PROFESSOR (COMMITTEE CHAIR). PAPER COPIES OF THIS FORM ARE NO LONGER ACCEPTED BY THE GRADUATE COLLEGE. The form should be sent no more than 48 hours after the Defense. The email to Dr. Bigsby should use the subject line “Student Name Thesis (or Dissertation) Oral Defense Form" (e.g. John Johnson Thesis Oral Defense Form).

All theses and dissertations must receive formal research clearance from the Office of Research Compliance & Ethics. To obtain the research clearance letter, the student should go to the Graduate Research Clearance Page, read the instructions, and submit the form as directed. Please allow at least three business days for a response. The Office of Research Compliance & Ethics will send the Research Clearance Letter to the student’s email. The Research Clearance Letter must be sent as part of the DOCUMENT SUBMISSION (see next step below).

When the document is ready to be submitted to the Graduate College for review, the following items must be sent directly to DR. SHEA BIGSBY ( as email attachments (all three attachments must be sent together in one email). THE EMAIL MUST COME DIRECTLY FROM THE MAJOR PROFESSOR (COMMITTEE CHAIR) BY THE SUBMISSION DEADLINE. The email subject line should read "Student Name Thesis (or Dissertation) Submission (e.g. John Johnson Thesis Submission). Here are the three required attachments:
1. A PDF copy of the approved version of the thesis/dissertation.
2. The Research Clearance Letter (see "Research Clearance Letter" above)
3. A scanned copy of the completed and signed Thesis/Dissertation Checklist (available HERE or under “Resources” below). The Checklist form must be signed by the student, the major professor, and the department chair.

After the "Submission of Documents to Graduate College" is completed, the student will receive a message requesting that the PDF document now be uploaded to the ProQuest ETD (Electronic Thesis and Dissertation) Database, where it will be reviewed by the Graduate School. Note that the PDF file uploaded to ProQuest must be IDENTICAL to the advisor-approved PDF file emailed to Dr. Bigsby. For help with ETD submission, see the guide below (“How to Submit Electronic Thesis/Dissertation”) or see this Video Guide to ETD Submission. Once the ProQuest ETD submission has been completed, the Graduate College will review the document and request formatting changes as needed. The student will have ONE OPPORTUNITY to make the required changes and upload the revised, final PDF to their ProQuest account.

The final step is to submit a signed hard copy of the CORRECTLY-FORMATTED Signature Page (the second page of the thesis or dissertation). See the template and handbook (and sample Signature Pages) below for formatting requirements. Signatures should not be gathered until the Graduate College has confirmed that the format is correct. This page must be signed by the Major Professor, the Committee Members, and the Department Chair and then submitted to the Graduate College Office (120 Gibbs Hall). We will secure the signature of the Graduate Dean.


Thesis and Dissertation Formatting Handbook 
Thesis/Dissertation Template (Microsoft Word version) -- updated May 2018
LaTeX-based Thesis/Dissertation Template (LaTeX version, created by Lee Redfearn; note that some components of this template--including the SIGNATURE PAGE--are OUT OF DATE and that the Graduate College cannot provide technical assistance with this LaTeX template. This is just a model to help you get started.)

Submission Forms


Additional Writing Resources


If you have additional questions, please contact the Coordinator of Graduate Writing Services, Dr. Shea Bigsby, at